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Inside the Coney Island crowd

[Tripper: Paola]
ITPaletta e secchielloConey Island - New York

Fifty minutes by subway from Manhattan and you're inside the American myth, the iconic setting of great films. From auteur films to real life it's just a moment and Coney Island today is just that: life aggregator who on the beach and all around try to escape the daily routine at least for the weekend. Coney Island is the beach of the New York people.

Nathan's Famous Hot dog

Nathan's Famous Hot dog

Spiaggia a Coney Island

Beach at Coney Island

It was 1903 when the architect Frederick Thompson bought nine hectares overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the equivalent of almost 13 football fields, to build roller coasters and dance floors, marquees with cannon women and a Ferris wheel of wonders.
Together with his partner and friend Elmer "Skip" Dundy, they had created an attraction a few years earlier where the public, sitting inside a spacecraft, faced an imaginary journey to the moon: it was called A trip to the moon.
This previous experience, combined with the fact that Elmer Dundy's sister was called Luna, decreed the name of the amusement park: Luna Park.
Coney Island filled with attractions, filled with people but, unfortunately in 1911, this dreamland went up in smoke due to an indomitable fire. However, it was rebuilt and came to life again. In those years a certain Nathan Handwerker, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, worked in a stall on the seafront and earned 11 dollars a week selling frankfurters stuffed into a hot sandwich: hot dogs.
He was a hardworking and skilled man who looked far: he slept on the floor in the kitchen where they boiled sausages to save every penny they earned. With the accumulated nest egg he opened his own stall and started selling hot dogs for 5 cents, half of what his ex-boss made them pay him. Customers flocked to him, and soon Nathan's Famous was born.
The stand of the most famous hot dogs in New York is still there, you will queue up to grab your sandwich overflowing with sauces, but it will seem to have all the tastes in the world, because inside there is a story of revenge.
In the following years, two incredible attractions for the time were opened: the Cyclone and Thunderbolt roller coasters. While Thunderbolt was closed in 1982 and later demolished, the Cyclone is still there since its inauguration on June 26, 1927. An all-wood roller coaster, it still ensures adrenaline thanks to its dive with an angle of descent of almost 60 degrees. The Cyclone has been featured in films, music videos and even works of art and has become a cultural phenomenon, a Brooklyn icon that you cannot miss.

After the years of decline after World War II, Coney Island was at the center of controversial redevelopment plans, some of which aimed to build luxury accommodations, distorting the popular origin of the area. In 2009 the revaluation of the area finally started with the construction of new housing and shops, the following year the Luna Park reopened, thanks to the restoration and management intervention of the lord of the rides, the Italian Zamperla , the man who entertains young and old with his magical creations of amusement parks around the world.
While it's true that popular spots have the defining characteristic in crowds, Coney Island is no exception: During the summer weekends, it's as crowded as Times Square at six in the evening.
Do not miss this iconic place, let yourself be taken inside the pulsating soul of a city with all its multi-ethnicity, its contradictions and its history.
Have a good trip!

Spiaggia a Coney Island

Luna Park a Coney Island

Ingresso al Luna Park

Entrance to the Luna Park